WASHINGTON — Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.
Party loyalists longing for a political savior to retake the governor’s office have been waiting on Bayh ever since he abruptly decided to leave the U.S. Senate and political life three years ago.
For now, it appears, they’ll just have to keep waiting.
Despite a hefty campaign war chest and deep nostalgia for his days as a popular centrist Democrat, Bayh says he needs more time to decide whether he’ll try to recapture his old job.
“I think it’s less likely than more likely,” he said. “I haven’t ruled it out.”
Bayh cited family as the reason for delay, during a recent interview in the Washington D.C. offices of McGuireWoods, a law and lobbying firm he joined when he left the Senate. He’s been busy advising the firm’s banking and energy clients, in addition to his work with a New York private equity firm, Apollo Global Management, and with stint as a Fox News contributor.
His twin sons, born during the second of his two terms as governor, are headed off to college this fall. Once they’re settled, Bayh said he and his wife, Susan, will have time for a serious conversation about his next steps.
“I will confess, I’m indulging myself,” said Bayh, 58, who appears to have aged well since he was elected as the nation’s youngest governor at 32. “My sons are leaving home soon, and I’m trying to be with them as much as I can, because I love them and I’m going to miss them.”
Bayh’s indulgence may be trying the patience of state party leaders. While they’re focused on state races this November, and mayoral races next year, they’re already talking about the 2016 gubernatorial race.